Cover by the lovely (and talented) eriberry89.
Canon up until 3x05, except Caroline is a werewolf.
WARNING: not Damon friendly + Caroline's abuse in his hands is implied at some point.

Caroline Forbes was proud to say that she was not scared.

Not a shred of fear could be found in her in that moment. She stood her ground, chin up as she looked right back into his eyes with defiance. She wasn't frightened, she was furious and she would probably lose her life, but there was not a chance in hell she was losing that staring contest.

Klaus Mikaelson seemed to find that amusing, his lips curling in a small smile, smugness all over his face. She had never hated anyone the way she hated him in that moment.

His eyes were icy blue and the more she gazed into them, the more she felt as if she could see the engines working in his brain, predicting everyone's next movement and planning his own like he was constantly playing a particularly entertaining chess match.

Caroline wasn't stupid, she knew there was no way she was getting out of there alive.

So she stubbornly kept on staring back at him, not caring about the risks.

Her eyes were burning, begging her to blink, they were getting more and more watery, but she didn't care. She'd keep on refusing her body's needs for as long as she had to, as long as she could have this small victory.

It was as if the other people in the room weren't there, none of them mattered. Tyler's words were barely being heard by her as he begged for the Original to let her be, asking to be the chosen one instead.

Caroline would've rolled her eyes at him if that didn't mean she'd have to stop looking at Klaus.

How couldn't they see that he had already made his decision?

There was nothing anyone could do to stop him now. She would be set as an example for her friends. She would either die or become what she'd been taught to hate ever since she was child.

She knew there was no other possible outcome from it since Klaus had announced he needed Bonnie to find a way for him to make hybrids, telling her she wouldn't have much time, because he wanted to do an experiment now and, thankfully, there were two werewolves in the room.

Tyler had taken a step back, shaking his head and the stink of fear was coming out from him in strong waves.

Caroline, on the other hand, had the effrontery of crossing her arms in front of her body and arching her brows, challenging him. Which she knew was not smart, but she didn't want to go down with at least some sort of resistance.

It had picked his interest and the staring contest had begun.

Something gold flashed in Klaus's irises and he bared his fangs at her, the veins underneath his eyes becoming prominent. Her wolf recognized the signs, knew that he was showing her he was the alpha male, telling her that she should submit.

And her wolf wanted to.

It wasn't the full moon, though, and her beast was not in control.

So she kept on holding his gaze.

Caroline won, but victory didn't taste quite as good in her mouth as she had expected. Perhaps because she was forced to swallow it in anticipation, because as soon as Klaus broke eye contact – he looked at Tyler for a split second so that the boy would shut up - he began taking slow, but steady steps towards her.

She thought that fear would come to her when she saw his ferocious smile, but it didn't. Her heart started hammering in her chest with his proximity, though, anxiety taking over her.

He bit into his own wrist, offering her a bloodied grin before forcing it into her mouth, his other hand going behind her neck so that she would stand still as she uselessly tried to pull back.

Caroline coughed as the blood made its way down her throat.

The last thing she remembered was the strong taste of metal on her tongue, then Klaus put a hand on each side of her head and suddenly her world went black.

Her head had never ached that much before in her entire life.

The throbbing pain was enlarged by how loud everything around her was… It was as if someone was watching TV at the loudest volume possible and the speakers were right beside her ear.

And what was that smell?

It seemed like… blood.

She could smell blood and the stink that clung to the air made realisation dawn upon her, her eyes shooting up as she felt her gums hurting, as if there were new teeth ready to come out.

And there were. Of course there were.

She was in transition. Which meant she was dead. Lifeless.


Oh, what would her parents say?

Caroline pictured her mother's disgusted face, spiting at her that her daughter was dead and that she wasn't anything but a monster; she could co so clearly see the anger in her father's eyes, the disappointment. As if it'd been her fault. Or perhaps he would blame her mother, tell her she didn't raise their daughter right. And how she'd love to yell at him that, well, neither had him.

And, God, why was everything so damn bright?

"You'll get used to it." said a feminine voice from somewhere on her left and she quickly turned to see Rebekah Mikaelson, sitting on a chair with her feet resting upon a table. She seemed annoyed, fumbling with the phone on her hand. "Or maybe you won't have the time to. It really depends if your friend will help my brother. Do you think she loves you more than she hates him? Probably not. Nik is really good in getting people to hate him. You'll see for yourself if you live long enough."

"Well, I'm good at getting people to like me." Caroline shot back, not really knowing what to say when doubt began to settle in her stomach. She was dead. Would her friends do anything to make her a little less so? Did she want them to?

"We'll know soon enough. Either way, I don't think you should want to stay alive. Maybe death will be kinder than what Nik has in store for you. Or do you think that he'll leave you alone if he manages to turn you?"

"Why are you telling me this?"

Rebekah rolled her eyes, staring at her nails. "Because I got stuck with babysitting duty, so I might as well make it interesting for me."

"Come now, dear sister, already terrorizing poor Caroline?" Klaus's voice echoed from the door and Caroline directed him her deadliest glare, which only seemed to amuse him as he walked towards her. "Don't listen to her, sweetheart, Rebekah has always loved being the only girl, but she'll grow used to having you in our little clan." He said with a smirk, reaching out to caress her hair, but she quickly caught his wrist, pushing him away.

"Don't touch me. You know what? Don't talk to me. Don't look at me. In case you haven't realized, you have literally just murdered me, so you don't get to play the nice guy trying to defend me from your sister and you definitely don't get to include me in you clan or in any other aspect of your life."

The curl on the edge of his lips and the content look in his eyes made her tremble in fury, the fire of anger inside of her contrasting with the cold shiver that ran down her spine when he muttered, "We'll see about that."

"I told you he was good in getting people to hate him." Rebekah murmured with a cruel smile on her lips.

Caroline refused to acknowledge her and turned to face Klaus, "Am I going to die?" she asked almost boringly, as if she was asking what time it was.

Intriguing, he thought.

"I still haven't heard from the Bennett witch. Perhaps I should give them a little more incentive… Something tells me that if the doppelganger's life is in danger, they'll be more prone to help our cause. Don't worry, Caroline, I will do everything in my power to ensure that you live. I have plans for you."

"Haven't you heard anything I just said? I'm not gonna take part in your twisted games and you will not threaten my friends!"

"Oh, love, but you're already part of my games. And you'll do well in remember that even if your friend find a way for the creation of my hybrids, I do not necessarily have to turn you, Caroline. Don't presume you can tell me what to do." His voice came out low and authoritarian, his eyes harsh with a few glimpses of his wolf showing.

And maybe she should learn when to shut up, but she was not going to give him the satisfaction of her submission. "Don't presume you get to kill me and then make me be ok with it."

"Do you understand what I'm offering you? Immortality, freedom… You will not have to turn on the full moons. The pain will be gone, Caroline. That is what I can give you. All I ask in return is for your loyalty. A small price to pay, isn't it?"

His words painted her a pretty picture. It was tempting, to say the least.

The pain she felt every full moon, all of the broken bones and the haunting thoughts of what she'd done while her wolf was in control would be gone. She could be free from what agonized her life. But was it a small price to pay? Being loyal to Klaus, owing him something… Something told her that debt wouldn't be easy to atone.

She stayed quiet, letting her silence voice her indecision.

He gave her a wicked smirk, clearly satisfied with how she didn't discard his offer just yet. "I'll go check on the progress your friends made. Don't let Rebekah get to you."

And as soon as he sped away, his sister let out an amused chuckle.

"You're learning."

Caroline didn't ask what she meant by that.

It was over an hour later when Klaus returned, dragging Elena by the arm, Rebekah dropping an unconscious Damon Salvatore on the floor while the rest of her friends followed close behind.

"What do you mean?"

Klaus's eyes glinted mischievously as he pointed to the doppelganger with his chin, "All you have to is drink her blood. At least that's what your dear friend Bonnie says."

"No one is drinking her blood." Stefan interjected, "Let her go, Klaus, please."

"And take away Caroline's only chance of staying alive? Now that would be cruel." He said and turned to look at her, "You must be starving, sweetheart."

She shook her head, "I'm not gonna kill Elena."

"Of course you won't. Do you think I'd so easily dispose my one chance at making more hybrids? Not so fast, love, you'll only take a bite. It should be enough."

Caroline shook her head in a noble stubbornness, staring determinedly at Klaus while her friend tried to get rid of his grip. "No."

"Come now, Caroline, I bet you are almost painfully hungry. You can hear the blood running through her veins, her heart beating in her chest. I know you want to try your new teeth, let them sink in her pretty neck. She's your friend, she'll be saving your life. She'll understand."

Elena stopped trying to get away from Klaus, finally looking at Caroline with a merciful glance. "Do it, Care. It's ok."

"No." Caroline insisted, because how could she make this choice? Not only she'd be hurting her friend, but she'd also be pledging alliance to Klaus Mikaelson. There was too much at stake and perhaps his sister was right, perhaps death would be kinder than his plans for her. She wasn't sure if she was brave enough to refuse this chance of saving herself, of being free of the pain and agony, though.

She wasn't afraid to die, but she wanted so desperately to live. Caroline just wasn't sure about the contract she'd be signing.

Rebekah huffed impatiently in the corner of the room, adding with an eye roll, "Just force the blood down her throat and be done with it, Nik."

Klaus's eyes never left Caroline even as he replied with the same obstinacy as the blonde werewolf, "No."

There was a flicker of interest in his eyes, mixed with the golden that appeared in them that showed his wolf was just beneath the surface, making hers howl softly underneath her prickling skin. "Think about it, sweetheart. Think about what I'm offering you and how little I ask in return – I do not ask for an unreasonable price, Caroline, our deal would be a fair one. The only thing holding it back is you. May I ask why?" he squinted his eyes at her, analysing her further. "Perhaps you do not wish to live. Now that would be a pity, wouldn't it? I'm offering you the world and not only this one, no, but the one that will takes its place in the next centuries and in the ones after that. Why would you refuse such offer?"

"Care-" Tyler began saying, trying to urge her to feed. He just wanted her to live, the rest they could deal with later, but his voice wasn't powerful enough to reach her in that moment.

Caroline felt lost, unsure which path to follow. Was death the brave choice? A selfless sacrifice, perhaps, but what would she be sacrificing herself for? Klaus already knew how to make hybrids, he didn't need her to be his first one, he just wanted her to and dying to frustrate him a little did not seem worth it.

So perhaps she should choose to complete her transition; to fully turn into a hybrid, just like he was. And that sounded so tempting that she was just certain it was the wrong choice, but it offered her so much possibilities for the future. Maybe she would find a way to pay her debt to Klaus without losing herself. She'd have eternity and she'd be lying if she said she wasn't attracted to the idea.

Caroline finally voiced her decision, letting out a piece of honesty that served both as a reason to herself and as an excuse to her friends. "I don't want to die."

The Original nodded solemnly, a tender smile on his lips as he urged the doppelganger forward, Elena whispering that everything was ok so that Caroline would know it, exposing her neck invitingly.

And Klaus watched greedily as the blonde girl finally let her monster out, exposing her beautiful fangs and veins. Her hungry eyes carried a lovely glint of power that he would love to explore and they stared right at his as she let her beasts finally get what they had been craving.

She was glorious and she was his.

The blood hit her tongue and spilled down her throat, appeasing her monster's needs. It felt like nothing she had ever tried before – the metallic taste did not bother her any longer, all she could feel was how pleasing and gratifying it was, the thrill of it all making her focus on the new sensations, on that new power… And on him, of course. There was no way she could look away from the intensity of his gaze. And perhaps blood could inebriate her just as well as wine, because all she could think about was what his would taste like.

Those were not the thoughts she wanted to have about the man who had killed her. She was not about to romanticize that situation, but the most irrational parts of her, the ones driven by lust and desire, did not seem to care; they wanted to sink their teeth in his skin and let him do the same with her.

The thought scared her and she decided to pull back, to confine her beasts somewhere deep inside of her so that rationality could control her actions. She did not look Elena in the eye as she let go, letting Stefan come to her comfort as she tried to sort out her thoughts.

Klaus seemed a little disappointed as he said, "You could've enjoyed it a little more, love. But you have astonishing control… And you make such a lovely monster. Are you still hungry, Caroline? We can find you more food in a moment."

"Look at you, Nik, all excited about your new puppy." Rebekah mocked, though she took a few steps towards them, measuring the girl as if assessing a possible threat.

Caroline gritted her teeth, "I'm fine. And I can get my own food, thanks."

"I'm sure you can, sweetheart, I'm simply offering you my assistance."

She crossed her arms and huffed as a petulant child, which he thought to be diverting. "Well, I don't want it."

"Clearly. I suppose we should be on our way, Rebekah. We need to find a safe place for the doppelganger, after all."

Silence reigned for some long moments as everyone processed what the Original had just said, being broken by Stefan's indignant "What? You are not taking Elena anywhere."

Klaus smile predatorily with cruelty in his eyes as he challenged with arched brows, "Stop me."

Naïve enough to try, Stefan went for the hybrid, having his neck broken in a swift movement. Bonnie tried to put up a resistance, causing aneurisms to erupt in Klaus's and Rebekah's brains, but it did nothing more than to annoy them and the youngest Mikaelson quickly positioned herself behind Tyler. "He won't come back if I break his neck."

Elena shook her head, "No, stop! I'll go, just… Don't hurt anyone, please."

"Since you asked nicely." Rebekah ironized, but stepped away from the boy. "Come on, Nik. I have more to do than to deal with the children."

Klaus nodded absent-mindedly and took a few steps closer to Caroline, enjoying how her breathing quickened at their proximity. She put her hands between them as if to push him away, but made no move to touch him, so he took one of them in his, softly pressing his lips against her knuckles. "I'll see you soon, Caroline."

Then he flashed away, taking Elena with him. And all that was left of his presence was the tingling of the skin he had kissed.

"Care, are you ok?" Tyler asked, rushing to her side.

"Yeah, I'm fine." She lied.

She felt strange, her mind felt a little foggy and there was some uneasiness inside of her, a growing feeling of anxiety that she couldn't quite explain. It was as if nothing really made sense, as if she didn't have a purpose and she useless sought around in the room for something to tell her what she should do now.

It scared her to think that her mind sought for Klaus, that it expected and yearned for his guidance.

It scared her, but it didn't frighten her nearly as much as looking at Damon apparently did. She didn't understand why, there were just flashes of helplessness that took over her body when she glanced at him, a lack of breath and some anger that ate at her entrails.

Caroline let Tyler escort her out, more confused than she had ever been.

"Let Elena out."

Klaus smiled as he heard the eldest Salvatore brother's demand as he walked to his car. He had just gone visit the doppelganger, compelling the rest of the staff in the clinic to take as much of her blood as possible without killing her, ensuring they'd let her healthy enough so they could repeat the process over and over again.

"I expected one of you would come for the girl. I just thought it'd be Stefan, since he is her boyfriend, isn't he? But I suppose the rules for the Salvatores are a little different." He said, turning around to face Damon with a smirk.

"Yeah, we both have good taste. Now, let her out."

Klaus shook his head, "Explain to me why do you think you are in a position to make demands. Last time I checked, it would be ridiculously easy for me to kill you, while I am immortal."

"Are you, though?"

He laughed, "Damon, let me offer you some advice, in all of these centuries, don't you think that men more capable than you have tried to kill me? Since I'm clearly still alive, you can probably guess what happened to them. So, tell me, why do you think it'd be any different with you and your little gang?"

"Mikael." the other vampire replied, "We know where your father is."

Hello! So, I've had this planned for a while, but I've been pretty stuck on this chapter for the past few months, but it's here now, so let me know if you liked it or your general thoughts about it. What do you think Klaus will do after Damon's threat? How do you think Caroline will be involved in it?
You can also find me on tumblr under the name of itsnotacrimetoloveyou :)